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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First week of Fall

For a first week of Fall, it's been a glorious example of perfection.  Okay, so I could have done without the +29C temps on Saturday, but today is +18C, the sun is shining and it looks perfect out.  I, of course, am now trapped at my desk, stuck indoors, due to a last minute crisis at work that needs to be dealt with.  "I'm on it!!"  That should be my battle cry!  Oh, well, I'll get my fill of Fall when I hit up boot camp later.

I really needed last night's class, although the run up Douglas Fir and the Bitch Path repeatedly, especially after Melissa's, was a little taxing on the legs.  While I didn't make the poorest of choices while playing in Banff this weekend, I didn't make the best either, and really felt my over-indulgence when I woke up yesterday.  I felt bloated and lethargic, and Mr. Scale was.not.kind!  I've been doing my best to eat clean ever since, and am getting the water in.  Flush it all out, please.

I am happy to report that my new shoes and socks did great at Melissa's on Saturday.  Nary a blister or sore to speak of.  I did break two cardinal rules that day, running in both new shoes and socks (a type I have never tried before, being sort of compression) but I survived.  The running gods were smiling upon me.

Boot camp last night may have been a small group, but we were hard core!  After warming up on Douglas Fir (right to the top this time), we returned to a good old circuit of add-ons.  Started with step-ups, then push-ups, then jump rope, then dips.  Return to start...add curl/press/drops (I don't know what to call these...curl up, then press the weights, then control the drop back down the front with arms straight), do push-ups, add foot crunches (again, don't know what they're called, but when you crunch, you touch your fingers to the bottom of your feet (knees to chest)), add sumo squats, skip, dips, add incline presses.  Return to start, and repeat...adding lat raises, adding toe touches, adding skaters, adding leg-drivers, return to start.  Black out...wait, that may have just been me!

Then, for kicks, we grabbed our weights and moved up to the base of the Bitch path.  There we did bent-over rows, flies and up the path.  Repeat...times 3.  Again, with the blacking out thing!  Finished the day with weighted toe touches, banana hold and scissor kicks.  Then some good old fashioned sit ups and negatives and another hour has flown by. 

Since I was meeting up with H-woman for dinner (noodles, sans the actual noodles for me!  So...broth, chicken and vegetables!), but not for another hour, I decided to wander through the dog park and take some fall pictures.  Is it weird to wander through a dog park without a dog?!  Some of the dogs seemed to think so, as they just did not know what to think about me!  Run up wagging, then stop and look at me like "wait a minute...something doesn't smell right here..." and then back away slowly!  Not sure whether to be offended or not!

This is part of the dog park at Edworthy...

Top of the BA Hill, viewing from the south...

Road down into Edworthy Park...


Had dinner, a good long visit and then home.  Not sure what I did to totally waste my evening, but didn't do anything once home, yet didn't make it to bed until 11:30!  And I wonder why I'm always tired.

Tonight's boot camp should be equally fun/punishing...we're meeting up at Weaslehead, which means more hills...I'll try to take some snaps of it.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Melissa's 20.65

Seriously doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?  Melissa's 22 is what the race really is, but due to construction (curses), the course had to be modified slightly.

Drove up to Banff Friday night after boot camp...yes, I still did my hour boot camp the night before a long run.  I am hard core!  And Trainer Josh put us through our leg paces, with a climb up the BA hill, squat tabata, lunge/leg drive tabata and general running around.  All of that past work has definitely made my legs and core stronger.  Since I had already picked up my race package on Thursday (when I was helping out, and therefore earning my bib fee back...score!), I didn't have to worry about anything other than driving to and checking into my hotel.

Staying at the Driftwood again, which is an older hotel "attached" to a newer, fancier one.  Funny part is the $100 difference in rate, since I still get to use all the facilities at the other hotel, but pay much less.  Granted the rooms are simple and a little dated, but who cares?  As long as it has a bed, a bathroom and is clean, that's all I really need.  Oh, and the mini-coffee maker!  Three cheers for the mini-coffee maker!!  Met up with C. & K. and went into downtown to find dinner, ending up at the Elksman (something like that) for a pint of Guinness (most excellent pre and post race fuel!) and a chicken wrap with salad.  Broke the carb rule, but not by much...and I did have a race in the morning.

Woke up yesterday to a glorious day in the mountains.  Second day of Fall, and the temps were forecast to hit +29C!  That's almost 90F, for crying out loud!  I was a bit concerned about the all know how much I "love" running in the heat...but thought with the mountains, trees and altitude, it wouldn't be that bad.  I was a little wrong!  K. & C. walked down to my hotel, and then we all walked up to the recreation grounds where the race started.  Because the race is in September, they have a wonderfully late start...10:30 for the 10k, and 10:40 for the 22.  C. was running the 10, but we lost sight of her in the sea of people!  I think there were 4,000-5,000 running in total, and add to that "race support" and the town's population certainly doubled quickly!  Met up with my hiking ladies, M., S. and J., and ran into many others from the running groups at Eau Claire, and we settled into our pace groups in the queue.  J. was aiming for a 2 hour finish, so moved ahead of us.  I wanted a 2:30 finish, which is fast for me, and M. & S. were there to pace me, as they run about a 2:15 normally.  Awesome gals!  Heart them all!

We started, and M. was in charge of pacing.  I just set Mr. Garmin for the distance and did my very best to concentrate on my legs and breathing and not obsessively glance at him every 4 seconds!  We were running 10:1's, which for the first 11-12k felt pretty good.  Not too fast, although we did get caught in the drag a couple of times (when the front-runners blew past us, on their second lap, and when some friends ran past too!) but for the most part, I felt pretty good.  Sadly, it got hot.  And that took it's usual toll.  I didn't want to slow down the ladies, but I just couldn't seem to stay in the we dropped to 5:1's, and then 2:1's and then finally 1:1's...but that helped.  We also picked up other runners along the way, who weren't doing so well, and said 'run with us, we'll get you to the finish line'.  A lady from Edmonton joined us at about the 11k mark, and we picked up a gentleman from Calgary at about marker 15.  The five of us did 1:1's the rest of the way in, encouraging each other, laughing, joking, getting to know each other, and generally having an amazing race.

And the best part??  Finishing feeling strong, upright and at 2:35:58!!!!!  Even with my "slow down", I still blew my former times out of the water.  Granted, it's hard to compare, since we're missing 1.35k, but I don't care.  I felt great, and there was beer waiting at the finish line!  That's almost better than chocolate milk...almost.  K., who was my pacer for my first marathon clinic, came in at 2:49, which is not bad for her first time at Melissa's.  It really is a challenging race, not necessarily because of the hills (there's really not a lot on the long course, the 10k is another story), but it is harder to run at these high elevations, and it was a hot day.  And there's usually a good head-wind by the club house on the golf course...who knows why it's that spot, but it's always that spot!

We sat, rested up, gathered all the peeps together and then walked back into town to the Rose & Crown, which was SLAMMED with runners, desperate for food and more beer!  We did have to wait awhile for service, but once he made it to us, was great.  Had a pint (or two), and enjoyed a lamb pita sandwich (yes, I know...darn carbs) with salad and roasted veggies.  I "may" have tasted some of J.'s nachos...but what happens in Banff, stays in Banff...right peeps?!

Everyone went their separate ways (some were driving home to Calgary, some off to visit other friends, me and C., back to our hotels) and then later in the evening, C. and I met up for dinner.  We went to Magpie and Stump, a very good Tex-Mex restaurant in town that has been here as long as I can remember.  I most definitely broke the carb rule last night, as we shared seafood cerviche, served with corn chips, and then I had the chicken enchilada dinner.  I didn't eat the rice, save for a couple of bites, and left most of the refried beans, but let's face it...the chicken wasn't wrapped in a lettuce leaf, was it?!  But it was good, as was the sangria (it was fruit once, wasn't it) but I was so full afterwards, we ended up walking around town, just to get the bloating down!

I slept till I felt like waking up this morning (after blacking out at 10:30!), getting probably 11 hours of zzzz's.  Awesome.  I should get ready and pack up, since C. and I will meet up for brunch/lunch soon, and I need to check out.  Sadly back to reality.  However, I need to check the lottery tickets...maybe waking up in Banff every morning could be my new reality!  That would be sweet.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fresh mountain air

Sorry - no post last night.  It was a LONG day, as I was at Edworthy Park  at 6am (yes, AM!) for boot camp.  That meant the alarm went off at 5...yuck!  After an hour of running, push-ups, squats, jumping rope, curls, rows, etc, I drove to the nearest Starbucks, grabbed my 6-shots of heaven and drove into work.  Who the heck are all these people, and why are they in my way?!  I don't get how people drive to work every single day.  I would have to hurt myself...walking in is so much more peaceful!  Got to the office, changed and got all purdy for the office, and sat at my desk by 8.  Walked on by the meeting room filled with pizza, pop and Caesar salads at lunch, on my way to Weight Watchers.  I am strong like ox!  Although that pizza smelled damn good!!  People questioned how I could walk away from pizza (a gift from our VP for surviving year end), and I just said I was allergic to makes my butt swell. 

My strength was rewarded, as I lost another 1.2 pounds at weigh-in.  That pushed me past 40 (it's been a year) and resulted in a 10 pound loss since letting Trainer Josh push me around 5 days a week, and tell me what to (and what not to) eat every day!  It sounds like a concentration camp, but he's very easy going, and we do joke about it all the time.  He really does care that I get back my live, and therefore my ability to run, to speed up, to hike, to climb, to move in general without pain.  And I really don't miss the carbs after 3pm.  It just makes me take a closer look at what I'm actually putting in mouth.  What a concept, huh??  Move more and eat less.  Wow.  We should market it!

After work, I went over to Eau Claire to help out with package pick-up for Melissa's Road Race.  It's an annual race in Banff, Canada,  that is so popular, it sells out in 2-3 hours every year.  I'm running the 22 (don't know who came up with 22, rather than 21.1 but it's what it's always been - there's a 10k too) with some of the hiking ladies, and am aiming for a 2:30 finish.  This year this is some construction, so the route had to be changed and is "only" 20.67 or something like that.  Just won't be the same, but it's still an excuse to spend the weekend in Banff, one of my favourite places in the world.  And for handing out race bibs, and answering questions, I got my entry fee paid back to me.  Yippee!  Ran into said ladies last night, as they returned from a training run, so we all went to the Barley Mill for beer and dinner.  Threw the staff over there off a little (yes, we are there every Wednesday night) but I had my usual...Guinness,  mussels (no bread) and salad.  Got home after 10pm, so went straight to bed.  Did not turn on computer, did not pass go!

Returned to normal routine, walked up to Gord's Running Store at lunch and finally got some women's runners that fit, walked back to the office (5k total?), had lunch, made it home, packed, changed, loaded up the truck, went to boot camp (Tabata Friday!), filled the truck  with fuel and drove to Banff.  Some highway trouble before leaving the city (a jeep on fire at side of one hurt) but made it here, changed again, met up with C. & K., who are both running tomorrow, and had some dinner.  A pint, a nice walk through downtown Banff (and where the weather is phenomenal!) and I am back in my hotel, catching up on blogs and winding down.

Okay...I have the alarm set - this race has a gloriously late start at 10:40 - and my gear all laid out.  Time to crawl into bed.  Race and day recap tomorrow night.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A really quick one

Must head for bed soon, as I'm going to go to boot camp at 6 am tomorrow.  Yes, that was an A followed by an M.  Be afraid...pretty sure it's one of the 7 signs!!!!

Boot camp last night was a Weaslehead-a-thon...I think by the time class ended, we had run the hill a good 6-7 times.  Over 3km clocked, which for a boot camp is a lot.  Feeling my hamstrings today, from the hill and the dead-lefts.

Tonight we ran the BA hill, and instead of our usual stairs, we did some trail running through the woods.  Then we got down to business, with a lot of focus on the quads.  Ow...  The morning class should be interesting.

Typical Wednesday meal of Guinness, mussels (no bread) and salad.  Boring, but delicious. 

I really have to shut down here...the alarm is going to go off earlier than normal, and I don't know how I feel about that yet!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Name Change

I have been mulling this for awhile, and finally decided to just do it.  I'm changing my name.  Okay, not MY name, but the blog name.  Mytimein09 was just...well...outdated.  After all, 2009 was two years ago, and quite frankly this is the year that I've really had the greatest transformations, whether they be physical or emotional.  I have turned into a RunnerGirl.  I am not fast, but I run.  I do not win, but I run.  And sometimes, I don't run, but I finish what I start.  So, Mytime is now RunnerGirl48.  Tell all your friends.  I hopefully have told all 14 of my followers!  LOL!

Good boot camp tonight, as the rain of the morning cleared away to a rather lovely afternoon.  Sunny but still a little crisp.  This is actually my favourite time of year, as I love that little bite in the air.  After a warm-up run (paths were too wet for Douglas Fir or the Hill), we got down to business, moving from circuit to circuit, pumping, jumping, bending, pulling and pushing.  Every body part got used, and used to the max.  Despite the cooler weather, I still managed to sweat up a storm. 

Home, fed and catching up on Facebook and blogland.  Aiming to be in bed by 10pm, so the Charlie Sheen roast and Two and a Half Men are on the PVR, waiting to record.   Sleep more important.  Sleep make me stronger...faster...leaner...nicer...hehehehe.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

A hike for all seasons

After a quick conference with the warden, we (eight of us today) decided on the nice and easy hike of Hummingbird Plume.  A total of 12km, 300m rise...gentle and kind, especially since almost half of us just finished a 100km race a mere 7 days earlier! 

Of course, this is how all of our hikes start...simple and easy.  Then we get to the pass, or peak, or point of interest and say "is that it??"  or "let's try this way"...every time!  Saturday was no exception.

The weather started off cool, but the forecast was dry.  Silly weatherman!  It rained while we drove into K-country, but then stopped as we all got ready.  Swear that takes longer than it does to drive sometime.
Miss J., ready to roll with go-cup and everything!  LOVE the gaters!  Note the damp ground.

It's, wait.  It's, wait.  It's sunny...okay, for now.  Once we reached Hummingbird (after getting a little turned around and crossing Nakiska ski slopes in error), we decided to add to the distance and go up to Skogen Pass.

Yes, that is the town of Canmore off in the distance.  We joked about just continuing on and taking a taxi back to the cars.  Joking, people...we really were joking!  After a very civilized lunch (meaning we sat at an actual table!), we were on our way back down to the cars, realizing we had passed what we had initially intended to hike by a couple of klicks already.  After having to strip off a few layers, due to the sun and heat, we all had to bundle up again.  And why, you ask?!  Because it is September and we were in the mountains...which are notorious for quick weather patterns.

Yup...that'd be SNOW!  Great big fat flakes of snow.  It wasn't that cold (okay, ask the others...I'm biased as I'm always hot these days), and it really was pretty.  We kept going down, down, down the mountain (snow stopped...sun came back out briefly), and then we decided we had to see the Troll Falls.  "Just" a quick side route off the trail...but worth it.

We finally started making our way back to the cars, and when all was said and done, we have covered 26kms and spent over 7 hours hiking, noshing, laughing (I entertained (or horrified) the others with tales of my social life) and generally spending another glorious day in the mountains.  May they never end.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

A great day

I totally kicked ass at boot camp.  I mean KICKED ASS!!  I lead the pack almost the whole way through the first circuits.  A-mazing!  I was a "steppin-up, jumping jacker, 1-legged squater, dipper, incline pusher, rowing, lat pulling, curling, burpee-pumping, sprinting, row pushing, v-sitting presser, bench pressing" MACHINE!!  Boo-yah!  After the circuit (and # 2, when we doubled everything), we did some killer squat to chest pull to shoulder press to drop arms to side raise.  Repeat 10 times.  Then we moved to the trees and did wall sits with curls to shoulder press to controlled arms down.  Stand up and do squats while holding weights high above head.  Repeat all 30 times.  I admit that I had to drop one weight after the first round, for fear of dropping it on my head!  End the class with hip raises, rowing, scissors, window-wipers (drop legs side to side, like a wiper blade), full sit-ups and negatives.  Another sweaty hour under my belt.

Took me by surprise as well, since yesterday it was all I could do to merely walk up the stairs, let alone "turn and fire".  And I was beat today...we stayed out a little late last night celebrating with a couple of the Coulee Chicks (awesome ladies who completed the 100k ultra in Lethbridge on the weekend), and while I was good, sticking to only 1 pint of Guinness, I was still really dragging today.  So much so that I was ready to sleep right after lunch, and had a brief nap when I got home.  Weird dreams though that revolved around boot camp, construction sites and having to balance on long thin poles over deep holes.  Very odd...but apparently what I needed.

Swung by PetPlanet for some food for George.  He has decided that his diabetic food sucks, so we're going the organic way, with little or no carbs per can.  So far, so good.  He practically dances while I'm putting the food down...yay.  I hate throwing away ignored food from his dish.  Then I picked up an easy but good dinner at the Safeway next door...turkey meatloaf (a favourite of mine), tomato and baby mozzarella salad and some mixed, marinated veggies (tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, baby corn and celery).  Quick and easy is what I wanted, since I didn't get home until after 8.  Late boot camp is hard for this.  It will take some planning through the winter months, especially since I still won't be speaking to potatoes, rice or pasta!!!!

I managed to lose what I found last week, and a touch more, bringing me to within .2 pound of 40 down.  Looking back, I'm almost where I was last October in Toronto (where I PB'd), so I am really focused on blowing past that.  Maybe that's what was driving my legs today.  The fire in my belly!!

Good day at work too...I officially sent my announcement around to the people I deal with, letting them know that after 11.5 years (yes, that says YEARS) I will be switching jobs within my company and walking away from everything I know, oh so well, to try my hand at something new (to me!).  I'm still in my same department and with the same team, but my focus will be completely different.  It's going to be hard, I am more than a little scared, and really excited.  Sadly I was getting bored and it was time for a change.  I am blessed to have a manager that recognized that and encourages his team.  I don't have an exact start date (trying to finish up with year end first), and we haven't even posted my job yet, but this will all come over the next few weeks or so.  Boot camp will become even more vital, as I maintain my balance through all the chaos.

Okay, it's 10:17 and I vowed today at WW to get a good nights sleep!!  Six hours or so, day after day, just doesn't cut it.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Methinks Trainer Josh learned a new word over the weekend and wanted to try it out.  And by "try it out, I mean have US try it out!!  With yesterday's sprint repeats (or Fartleks) up the Bitch path still fresh on my mind (and my butt), we warmed up at Weaslehead with a nice jog down and out to the bridge and then back up the hill to where Josh waited for us.  And then we did sprint repeats up Weaslehead, or as I will now refer to it as "le Bitch II".  At least this one is paved...a little easier to get a grip on while begging your legs to give everything/anything they've got!  Finished up with some of the squat/backwards walk I like (I really do enjoy this one...sick, I know), and then some lunges/sprint bursts.  By bursts, I mean you lunge and then sprint like leaving the starter's block, then slow down after a couple of steps.  Repeat.  Over and over and over again, till at the top of the hill.

Once back at our mats, we did 1-legged bent over rows - so try it, followed by push-ups, lat side and front raises, drop-leg flies.  Then we ran down and back up the hill (just to make sure we still had hearts that were working).  Next round of exercises started with the 1-legged rows (other leg), bent-over rows/flies, plank and toe touches.  Run back down and up the damn hill...I mean, I heart you, Josh.  Nine inches...just keep saying it and all with be right!  Finally cooled down with some good old 1-legged toe touches (left hand touches right foot, with leg extended, but don't move the leg...I think I need to find a picture to describe it properly) followed by oblique crunches.  Repeat.  Finally, full sit-ups and negatives.  Class over.  Collapse!

I stopped in at Sobey's on the way home, after noticing that traffic had miraculously disappeared.  What a gong show to get to boot camp tonight...hope this isn't a daily thing!  But back to the many tempting things (why must they display cookies and bread at the front door of the store?!  Don't was rhetorical!), I came home with soup.  I wanted something warm and comforting for supper, since Fall appears to be wanting to remind us Calgarians that it's just around the corner (only 10 more sleeps), with the past two days being gloomy and cool (sleeping at night, meanwhile, has been GLORIOUS!).  After reading oh, so many labels, I came home with a lower carb option of Tuscany meatball with farfalle pasta.  I wanted Lentil, but whoa, way high in carbs!  Ate the soup with a little melty provolone on top (mmmmm....cheese makes everything better), and am now full and happy.  And TIRED.  I sat up far too late last night, and looky's already 10:30pm.  How does that happen?!

Exercised my democratic privilege (not a right) and cast my ballot for PC Party leader here in Alberta at the advanced polls.  Then exercised my body with the walk home from the polling station.  I plan on being in the mountains on Saturday when the actual election is...we shall see if this needs to go to a second ballot or not.  After getting home from boot camp, I also managed to do a quick load of laundry (work out clothes were getting a little smelly), although the climb back up the stairs....OW! 

Okay, it's time for some vitamin I and a soft pillow.  Eyes are getting heavy.


Monday, September 12, 2011


Inches that is...yes, my hard work has paid off nicely.  In the last six weeks, I managed to lose 7.2 pounds and a total of 9" all over!  I also went for some nice hikes in the mountains, tackling some fears (rock-climbing, anyone?!) and pushed my body to the max.  I also ran 4 races (2 10k's that I was pretty pleased with, a marathon that was a "not-so-much", and yesterday's half that felt great), felt good about my food choices (mostly...poutine anyone?!) and overall am feeling pretty darn good about myself these days.

So good in fact that I signed up for another 6 weeks of hell...I mean torture...wait I'll get it right...good, hard work!  Yeah, that's what I want to call it!

The biggest thing I've noticed, with all the training, running and races, is that I recover very quickly.  Yes, yesterday afternoon, I looked like a baby giraffe attempting that first drink at the water hole when I went to sit down, but by the evening I was moving fine.  And today, felt great.  Nary a twinge.  Till boot camp, that is!!!  We climbed the BA hill, to which both legs (quads and calfs in stereo) said OH.HELLS.NO!!  But climb I did, and after finally getting to the top, I made my way across the ridge to the west stairs and back to the group.  Small group today...hoping it picks up.  Not sure where everyone was.  But we all worked out hard, doing sessions of leg raises, overhead leg drops and lunge curls, repeat.  Followed that up with squats, dead lift rows and bicycles, repeat.  Run up the Bitch path (legs are seriously not speaking to me now!), back for push-up rows, supermans, mountain climbers, more push-ups and jumping jacks.  Then we moved back to the Bitch path and did Fartlek drills (whimper).  We sprinted up the hill and walked back down to get our heart rate back down to normal.  Well, the others did...I once again looked like that new-born giraffe, struggling to walk for the first time!!!  Repeated this super fun, good times FOUR times...I just kept repeating nine...nine...nine...that kept me going up and back down again and again.  Class ended with our usual ab work (lost a 4 inches off my waist alone, so bring it on!) and I came straight home. 

Chopped up Brussels sprouts, zucchini, yellow beets, carrots and orange pepper, tossed with evoo and roasted till golden brown.  In my frying pan, I cooked up a lean beef burger from the freezer, then deglazed the pan with beef broth and while the burger rested, I cooked up sliced mushrooms.  Threw some goat cheese and balsamic dressing onto the veggies, threw it all together on my plate and dived in face first!!!  Too hungry (and yummy) for photos!

Sat up way too late (again) but I am heading for bed.  Really, I am.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Canmore Half

Race # 13.  This one I signed up for last minute, as I was still feeling runner's remorse for missing the Stampede Half in July. 

The Canmore Half.  I've run a half before in Canmore, in May.  The Rocky Mountain Soap Co hosted a women's only run, and it was hard, as you started and finished at the Nordic Centre.  Doesn't sound that bad, till you realize the Nordic Centre is where the 1988 Olympic cross-country skiing took place, and is up the side of a freaking mountain!  The last 5k were all up hill.  Today's race started and finished in town.  Far more civilized.

I got up bright and early (6am is too early for a Sunday), showered, dressed, made a green monster for the road, packed up and drove to Starbucks.  There, I picked up a vente non-fat latte, and their low fat turkey egg thingy sandwich (I never remember what it's called!) and hit the highway.  I was on the road by 7:30 and arrive safely in Canmore at 8:30.  Parked James, and walked the two blocks to the high school (race central) after stopping and using a real bathroom...I don't do the green portables!  Blech!

After hanging around (race started at 9:15) in the crisp mountain morning air, we were off.  The course had us weaving through the townsite, which was all right, except their sides roads were in rather deplorable condition...pot holes, ruts, bad repair jobs, loads of lose gravel and other hazards abound.  And cars...loved the cars!  For a race that really wanted to be green (recycling, car pooling from Calgary, buses to the race site, composting...they had it all), they could have done more to actually close the roads to traffic.  I actually got stuck behind a good old diesel truck for probably a good 2-3 blocks, breathing in the fumes the whole way.  Good times.  We darted into the forest for some trail running (again, not in the best condition...I was concerned about rolling an ankle), back out onto the roads, more pathways, some back alleys (odd...) and then after a final stint through town, we hit the Three Sisters pathway (that's what I call it) that follows the river out to the Three Sisters area, outside of Canmore.  This part is lovely, paved pathway, with quite a few hills and switchbacks.  What goes up must go down, right??  I did walk a lot of the hills (okay, ALL of the hills!) with the condition that I could run down the other side. 

Was feeling was bright and sunny, so the path into the trees was most welcome and cool.  However, I really must remember antihistamines when I go running in the woods!  It was dry and dusty and the trees are starting to lose leaves.  I was pretty stuffed up.

I kept plodding along, feeling like I was walking more than running, and my hamstring was acting up, but left, right repeat.  Managed to pass quite a few people, and let a few pass me (including one annoying chick who started celebrating at 19k that "there was only one more to go now"...don't know where she went to school!), before reaching the final water station, and the last kilometre (officially!).  I even allowed the one volunteer to say "it's just around the corner" because it was...turned left and there was finish line!  I managed a reasonable, and I think my fastest this year, time of 2:45:56.  Felt good, and even found people I knew (MF & A.  - A. ran today, while MF did the Banff Tri yesterday...they are a sporty couple!), hung out and enjoyed some fresh fruit (nectarines, plums, apples) and home baked cookies for race treats.  Listened the bank, and hung out for the awards, which is a treat as that's usually over with by the time I ever cross the finish line.

However, and here's my beef about this race: there was no race shirt or medal.  And it wasn't a cheap race ($75, plus I donated to the Cause)...granted, we did get a cloth shoulder bag (of which I now have about 10) and a water bottle (add to the pile of 50 or so!) for our efforts.  But no bling.  That`s the only reason why I do these things....I will never win one, unless there`s a horrible accident that befalls all of the lead pack (okay, ALL of the runners, save myself) so I rely on the bling to make it worthwhile.  Can`t hang a water bottle on a medal display rack very easily.  Not sure if I`ll sign up again next year...guess I`ll wait to see what happens then.

Met up with H-woman (after a quick chocolate run to Mom`s) and had dinner at Original Joe`s.  I ended up with the fish tacos (soft shells...yes, I ate carbs at 6pm!) and green salad.  I asked for the dressing on the side, and when the waitress asked what kind of dressing, I said a vinaigrette, like a Balsamic.  That`s exactly what I ended up with...balsamic vinegar.  Sigh...  Also enjoyed a pint of Guinness.  I am a rebel, after all.

I am majorly beat, so I am about to hit the sack.  Hope everyone had an awesome weekend, regardless of what they did or where they were.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Run for Water

Race number 12 (would have been 13, but I missed one in July due to my own forgetfulness) was today.  In fact, September is proving to be a busy month.

Was measured by Trainer Josh last night at the end of class (30 for 30 complete, and signed up for another 6 weeks of torture hard work!), and while he didn't have my beginning numbers handy, he was pretty sure I've lost a good 3" just around my waist!  Can't wait to see the results.  It's been hard work, but as with all hard work, it's paying off.  I am getting constant compliments and comments from people that I am "shrinking".  Awesome.

Today was bright and sunny as I drove to Eau Claire for the Run for Water 10k.  Just for something different (and because of all the freaking construction, like the Peace Bridge that!  The city is now saying "early 2012" was supposed to be done for Remembrance Day 2009!  But I digress...) we looped through Prince's Island Park and then went east to what we call the Long Zoo.  Cross the river onto St. George's Island (yes, the zoo is on an island in the river), and then loop back.  Not a bad course, although running into the early morning sun was a little harsh.  Again, not a cloud in the sky, but I sprayed on sunscreen before I headed out.  Finished, after passing a few people I played leap frog with along the course, but there was this one guy...oh boy.  He just could not let himself get beat by a girl - I even yelled that at him (jokingly, of course) and then I said "okay, it's on!" and the two of us sprinted to the finish, with him beating me by about 2 seconds.  I hope it hurt!!  My time, according to Mr. Garmin was 1:11:56, which is only a minute slower than the Energizer 10k last month.  We had a bit of a head wind coming back, and between the dust, dirt, fall (the season, not an action) and construction smells (who lays resin on a public walkway on a Saturday?!), I did struggle to control my breathing a couple of times, but walked to settle down, did some overhead stretching and told myself to run. 

Hung around afterward, to see if I knew anyone else there (ran into one guy I worked with at the Calgary 70.3, so we chatted) and then bought some shorts at the Running Room and came home.  Had to do some work in one of the suites, and after walking to Safeway for some supper (didn't know what I wanted, but knew it wasn't anything I had at home!) I settled on a chicken and apple salad with walnuts.  Random, I know.

I have a Half in Canmore to run in the morning, so I'll be up bright and early and on the road by 7-7:30.  Then run 21.1km, hang out and head for home, swinging by Mom's to check in on her and her chocolate supply.  I hear it's getting low and she's panicking!  Oh to be 75 and eat chocolate every day.  What a life!

Congrats out to my hiking friends S, M, MS and C.  They all completed the Lost Souls Ultra in Lethbridge this weekend, running 100km!  And a huge shout out to another acquaintance who ran, and came in 2nd for the women (6th overall) in the 100 MILES run.  I will never bitch about a marathon again, I swear!!  I thanked the Coulee Chicks for all our summer hikes (they were training), and let them know they are all my heroes.  Pretty certain I don't have 100km in me to run!  And I don't relish the idea of running all night too.  Of course, 4 years ago I thought a Half marathon was "far". 

Should get my butt to bed to rest up for tomorrow.  Hoping it's a little cooler in the mountains than it was here today.  I really am not a warm weather runner.  Guess that means I am Canadian!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

A blip

As predicted, I was up today at weigh-in.  One pound, and just one pound.  Still on the right side of 200, where I want to be, and I will be rid of said pound in no time. 

Got beat up by Trainer Josh, as predicted, as well.  Okay, so he didn't actually beat me up, but he did jokingly say (I hope it was joking, anyway!) that while everyone else had a 3.5 minute drill on the stairs (yes, up and down and up and down for THREE.AND.A.HALF.MINUTES!) my time was double that!  Think of that next time I'm reaching for the bag of pistachios!!!!  I did the 3.5 minutes, but trust me, after last night's step-up-a-thon, squat-fest, and bitch path, it felt like 7 minutes of hell.  Just to make us feel better, we did more squats and lunge-walked up the North Glenmore bitch path.  At least there's one at each location!

I am beat, and beat up.  Taking some vitamin I and going to bed.  Tomorrow morning is my semi-annual mammogram.  Do I know how to rock a Friday or what?  Squishing in the morning and boot camp in the afternoon.  Good times abound in my life.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I have completed 28 boot camps in the past 6 weeks, with only 2 more to go this session.  So what have I learned? 
  •  I am not as tired by Friday as I was in the beginning.
  •  I like mixing it up, with the two different parks (Edworthy and North Glenmore)
  •  the Edworthy group is friendlier and goofier than the North Glenmore gang.  They take their boot camp seriously!
  •  I have some serious triceps right now.
  •  and my calves are pretty awesome too!
  •  because of increased upper body strength (and super supportive, encouraging friends) I CAN climb up and over a very large rock in the mountains.
  •  I still don't like running the Bitch Path!
  •  and one day, Douglas Fir will be a breeze.
I have already signed up for another 6-week stint at 5 days.  I think is the boost / butt-kick I needed to start heading things in the right direction.  I may be up tomorrow (warned Josh) as I've had an "off" week, food wise.  I haven't made any bad decisions (other than the bag of pistachios!  But unsalted, so just slightly less addictive and bad for me), but I haven't really stuck to a good plan either.  Food has been erratic and all over the place, but the week has been that emotionally as well.  So if I'm up, I'm up and I'll just regroup, focus and keeping moving forward.  And probably sweat a bit more at boot camp tomorrow night.  Yay, Thursday night staircase/hill.  My legs are already crying!!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One year

Three hundred and sixty-five days of sunrises and sunsets.  And I've missed my father for each and every one of them.


Monday, September 5, 2011


Man, I don't know why I am so beat, but I am, so here's a quickie:

Ran 12.34km yesterday in 1:39.  Felt good, although our pace was slightly affected by our good deed of the week, when we stopped to help an elderly man who took a header off his bike (buy a helmet, by the way!)...there was a bit of bleeding from the head, arm, hand, knee, calf and ankle (oh, and don't wear slip-ons when riding a bike) which we tended to, while his wife went home to get their car (they lived close by).  I had forgotten to hit pause on the Garmin, so about 5-6 minutes ticked by before I clued in to stop it.  We did a good 10:1 pace, although I did ask M. and D. to slow down a bit for me towards the end.  Late lunch with the gang, before hitting the couch at home.  Some puttering and the day was done.

Today was boot camp at 9:30, as I had some plans the rest of the day.  It was a huge class, on a gorgeous morning, so we all got our sweat on.  Much running, sprinting, lunging, squatting, burping, pushing and rowing was experienced.  J. from our runs and hikes also came along to check it out, and decided she'll be signing up soon.  Snagged another one, Trainer Josh!

After boot camp, I came home and changed and went off to visit E. (from running clinic) and the other 5-hour peeps in E's new condo.  Had a great visit and loved her place.  Then it was off to Mom's to check in on her, pick up some groceries and make sure she was set for the week.  Home, where I met up with a new tenant (down to one empty suite now) and then helped a coworker rescue the abandoned fish left in a vacated suite.  Don't ask...

H-woman called, wondering what my dinner plans were, so the two of us went down to Kinjo for some awesome sushi.  Well, H. had sushi, I stuck with sashimi (no rice!), and tried an outstanding beef dish (Magic Beef - it was tasty), tempura avocado (OMG, so good!) and edamame.  Yum, yum, yum.  The joy of sashimi is I find I don't get as full and bloated as I do with the rice.  The down side is I spend WAY more money than I normally would.  After we got back to H's place, we decided a walk was in order to work off some of dinner, so we did the usual 3-4km loop along the river and through the neighbourhoods.  Highlight of the evening was the young Irish (had some kind of accent) stripping along the bike path, and totally busted by two older broads as we came around the corner!  I didn't peek!  Really, I swear...

Home, where I was watching the House Hunters marathon on HGTV, and somehow missed the end of one episode and the start of another!  Need to shut the TV off and go to bed.

Doing that now.  Hope everyone enjoyed Labour Day weekend.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rawson Lake

Another weekend arrives, and you all know by now that means another hike!  With the Coulee Chicks tapering for their 100km epic race next weekend, and me wanting to try something a little less intense than climbing a gigantic rock on the side of mountain, we opted for Rawson Lake.  It was described as an easy hike with an elevation gain of 300 meters or so.  Easy-Peasy! 

There were eight hardy souls up for Saturday's hike, including H-woman.  We even had some newbies from our running gang come along for the day, D. and his son C.  After Friday's cooler day, we knew we'd be in for a slightly colder hike than weeks was a little disconcerting watching the temperature toggle between 0C (freezing point) and +3C on the drive out!  

J. looking ready for a brisk day in the mountains, or how I imagine the Amish hiking!  I actually wore a long-sleeved tech shirt over my tank, and pulled on a jacket over that.  The jacket came off very quickly, and the sleeves got rolled up too.  It may not have been the +28 like last weekend, but once you got moving, it turned out to be a lovely day.
 Yup...that'd be snow in them there undergrowth!
And frozen little ponds.  Isn't the ice pattern pretty?

The climb of the hike was all at the beginning, and after walking around the lake (and passing several remnants of bear scat - make noise, make noise!), we sat and enjoyed our lunch, and realized it took longer to drive out here than it did to hike!  A group of hikers passed by us, and started heading up to the ridge here.

Not to be outdone (and because we wanted a bit more of a hike) we also started up.  It turned out to be a bit more challenging, as the "dirt" trail was wet and therefore slippery, and the dried creek bed, while a million times better than the one we tackled on Forget-me-Not, was still filled with loose rocks, which also were still shaking off the morning dew/frost.
However, the view was worth it.  That is Rawson Lake below us.  The others wanted to explore a bit more, but H-woman and I were both done with the climb and decided to stay put.  I really didn't feel like rock-climbing this week.
We were beneath this outcrop, waiting to see if anyone popped their head over to say hi!  After a few minutes everyone returned, as the climb to the ridge was quite far and the evidence of bear was more prominent (paw print and recent dig site).  Best safe than sorry!  We all have spray, but never really want to have to use it.
This is the creek bed, which was a bit easier to go down...still a good quad workout!
 View of the climb from across the lake.  Can you see where we were?
Upper Kananaskis Lake, at the base of the trail.
Beautiful falls leading down to the lake.

Overall, another wonderful day spent in the mountains with good friends.  I am one very blessed person.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

And I just keep going

Lost another 1.6 pounds this week!  Maybe Trainer Josh is onto to something.  Eat good food, don't eat too much, and work out, lots!  Huh...who would have thunk it?!

After Tuesday's punishment for showing up in the rain, you'd think I would have bailed on last night (actually raining, not the drizzle of Tuesday) but nooooooo...even leaving work a half hour later than I usually do (it's New Year's where I work (corporate year end) and we had a party to celebrate the year) and showing up for class 10 minutes late, Trainer Josh (or Grumpy Bear as we called him yesterday) and two other ladies were there waiting.  Oh boy...three of us to torture tonight.  And torture us he did...sadly it was too wet for the big hill or Douglas Fir, so we warmed up with a 5 minute run out and back, and then the circuits started.  Benches: dips, incline push-ups, leg to our mats: full body bike, toe touches, drop leg to our weights: curls, bent over rows, dead to the last benches: step-ups.  Return, and repeat everything along the way.  Return, going from 10 reps to 15 and repeat everything.  Return, repeat everything.  Lastly, increase everything to 20 and repeat.every.thing.  The worse part was the rain had started up, so our mats actually had puddles.  Nothing better than laying down in an icy cold puddle of water and trying to work out with rain in your eyes!  Trainer Josh cut us loose a little early, as there was too much rain to do any good core work, and his next round of victims were showing up for the 6pm class.

Met up with the gang at the Barley Mill and enjoyed my usual mussels, green salad and Guinness.  Glorious Guinness...  Had a good visit and then home and straight to bed.  It was so lovely to have to crawl under the covers last night.  The temperature in my apartment actually dropped to 21C last night.  First time in months!!!  Aaaaahhhhhhh...

Today was sunny and dry.  And slightly cool.  We met at the staircase in North Glenmore, and after a quick warm-up jog, we got to work.  Squat press, drop-leg flies.  Team 1 jumps up and runs 2 laps of the stairs, then back up to the top, where we did dips and incline push-ups.  Run to the top of the hill and do 15 squats (Team 2 ran the hill, stopping half way to do lunges), return to start, repeating everything.  Then we switched...after the mats, we moved to the bands for curls, seated rows and lat pulls.  And then the's not as steep as Weaslehead or Edworthy, but it's long.  I've been punishing my legs since Saturday, and they're really starting to get quite angry about it!  After finishing choice 2, we then did a full circle of everything, doubled.  That meant FOUR times up the stairs (gasp) and twice up and down the hill.  Trainer Josh did say I was looking slimmer, so that helped push me forward, as I'm also starting to see the results of all this hard work.  Over 9 pounds in the last 5 weeks...something has clicked!  Granted, I still felt like hurling, but happy to keep doing it.

Home to my go-to dish of greens, shredded carrot, peppers, goat cheese, and salmon.  Today's salmon was oven-smoked and delicious, and I added some maple smoked pecans that I purchased the other day for a sweet, smoky kick of flavour.  OMG, that was good!

Now I am so ready for bed.  And for painkillers...oh, my aching back!